"Female Forces:" P1's Betsy Brantner Smith in the spotlight


Related article:
Female Forces to feature Betsy Brantner Smith

Proposed TV show could bring fame to females on the force

By KATE R. HOULIHAN Staff Writer
Reprinted with permission from the Naperville Sun

NAPERVILLE, Ill. —


Betsy Branter Smith
The women of the Naperville Police Department are a multi-tasking, talented bunch, who might soon be able to add "stars of a television series" to their résumés.

Tonight the City Council will consider a request to use the city's logo and the Naperville Police Department's insignia in initial network pitches for the tentatively titled " Female Forces ," a television series that would feature not only what women in law enforcement do at work, but also who they are when the badge is taken off for the day.

"The whole point of the show is to show female police officers as officers, but also women," Sgt. Elizabeth Brantner-Smith said. "Like me - I'm a middle-aged soccer mom, but I'm also a sergeant, well-known police trainer and well-known police author. But I've also got four kids in a chaotic household and a husband."

A television series is being pitched that would feature local law enforcement women such as Sgt. Elizabeth Brantner-Smith, right, both at work and at home with their families.
Sun file

The show is in developmental stages but there are a number of networks interested in picking up the half-hour documentary series, said Adam Reed, executive producer of the show.

Connections

The Police Department got involved largely because of Brantner-Smith's connections with Roy Bedard, a consulting producer for Reed's company, A Day With Inc.

Bedard and Reed's crew came out and taped about six days of test footage between April 5 and 11, Brantner-Smith said. If the council gives the green light the crew could come back as early as next month to tape the first several episodes or the first season, depending on network pick up and preferences.

A different view

Camera crews rode along with Brantner-Smith in April for those several days and one night. Brantner-Smith said they also rode along with several of the other NPD women, including Sgt. Lisa Burghardt, Officer Stacey Malec and Officer Julie Lardino.

"We have people who are newlyweds, single - you name it," Brantner-Smith said. "Women that are single moms. Some of them caring for aging parents. Some are raising relatives' kids. They're all super busy women, yet they all come to Naperville and give it 110 percent on the street as well.

Brantner-Smith said support from NPD Chief David Dial was immediate.

"I think it's going to be wonderful," said Mayor George Pradel, a former police officer himself. "I think it should exemplify in law enforcement what they do."

Contact Kate Houlihan at 630-416-5224 or khoulihan@scn1.com

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